Film leads to Weston boys basketball coach resignation
Updated 9:30 pm, Friday, February 22, 2013
The Weston boys basketball team is set to take on Bethel Saturday afternoon in the SWC quarterfinals at Masuk.
However, the Trojans will do so without Mike Hvizdo, the second-year coach who resigned on Feb. 6 amid controversy over his participation in a short film from 2003 which was posted online and sent to school administrators.
Weston High administration said, "Forbidden Fruit," the nine-minute black-and-white film while not "illegal," was inappropriate and compromised his position as head coach of the Trojans in a letter mailed to parents on Feb. 10.
The Internet Movie Database lists minimal information on "Forbidden Fruit," aside from listing it as a comedy as well as naming Hvizdo in the credits.
"This film is vulgar, contains offensive sexual language, and depicts sexual acts among multiple partners in which Mr. Hvizdo is a participant," the letter said. "Unfortunately, material posted on the Internet takes on a life of its own, and there is no way to guarantee that this video will not be viewed by our entire community and most importantly, by our student athletes, now and into the future."
School officials met quickly after watching the video. They then spoke with Hvizdo, who promptly resigned, citing "personal reasons," as first reported by the Weston Forum earlier this month.
"The administration had to make a decision that was best for all parties involved," Berkowitz said. "It's just an unfortunate situation and an unfortunate event. In the world of education, our leaders are held to higher standards than other walks of life."
Hvizdo plans to release a statement through his lawyer early next week in attempt to get his side of the story out to the community.
"All I want to do right now is clear my name and let everyone know the truth," Hvizdo said when reached Friday afternoon. "I just want everybody to hear it from the horse's mouth. I need to clear my name."
Weston was his first head coaching position when he accepted the job in 2011. Prior to taking the Weston job, Hvizdo spent two seasons as an assistant at Wilton.
"I definitely want to coach in the future," Hvizdo said.
Jamaal Gibbs has coached Weston since Hvizdo's resignation. The Trojans finished the regular season 10-10, 7-9 under Hvizdo who's two-year record at the school was 20-19.
Weston also held a parents forum to discuss the issue, but the administration says the decision to accept Hvizdo's resignation is final.
"The one thing I will say, as shocked and distraught as I've been, the support from people reaching out to me has been amazing," Hvizdo said. "I'm not asking anybody to do anything. People are outraged. People know the truth. The support has been phenomenal, not just from Weston. Anyone who's gotten a whiff of this story has reached out to me."